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Thursday, Sep 19, 2002

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Shonkh closes shop in Bangalore

Abhrajit Gangopadhyay
Vishwanath Kulkarni


SOFTWARE products and services company Shonkh Technologies International Ltd, boasting alliances with Microsoft and EDS and whose former big-ticket investors included Mr Ketan Parekh and the Unit Trust of India, shut down its three development centres and its corporate office in Bangalore tracking technology slowdown.

The company has shifted its corporate headquarters to New Delhi and currently operates three development centres in Delhi, Gurgaon and Ahmedabad.

Workforce in these development centres have shrunk close to 75 engineers, sharply down from nearly 300 engineers employed in its Bangalore centres. "We had to fire some people and asked some of them to relocate, which many found unacceptable,'' company officials who did not wish to be named, said.

Declining to detail exact reasons for closing down Bangalore operations, the officials maintained, "The company is not closing down".

The company's Microsoft Centre for Excellence for e-governance in Gurgaon is still functioning, they said. The company manufactures touch-screen kiosks, smart cards, set-top boxes and endo-kits for medical fraternity.

Shonkh, promoted by Mr Vivek Nagpal of Padmini Polymers, which saw its shares shedding gains by as much as 78.51 per cent in the current year had peaked at Rs 463 on September 28, 2000. Its stocks closed at Rs 8.50 on Wednesday on the BSE.

Last July Shonkh has outsourced its vehicle registration automation projects to CA-Satyam, a joint venture between Computer Associates and Satyam Computers as it was strapped for cash to implement the project on its own. The Rs 580-crore vehicle registration project of Maharashtra involves smart cards to be supplied by Shonkh while most of the software that rests on the cards is likely to be written by CA-Satyam. The revenue was likely to be shared equally by Shonkh and CA-Satyam.

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